London hotel and restaurant workers are appealing to tourists to support their campaign for a ‘living wage’.
The workers, members of trade union Unite, plan 24 hours of action that will see them leaflet bars, restaurants and coffee shops in London’s West End today and tomorrow as they seek a minimum hourly wage of £8.80.
There will also be a protest on Friday outside a Crowne Plaza Hotel in the City demanding InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) honour a pledge to phase in a London ‘living wage’.
Unite claims London’s hotel and hospitality industry “is tarnishing the capital’s reputation” and says “not one hotel in London pays the ‘living wage’”.
In a statement, the union said: “Most workers cleaning the city’s 135,000 rooms earn the minimum wage of £6.31 per hour even though the industry generates £5.7 billion per annum and makes profits of £10.5 million per day in London.”
Unite officer for the hospitality industry Dave Turnbull said: “This industry can well afford to give people a ‘living wage’.
“Unite will be reminding London visitors that this is a city where hotels get rich by keeping its workforce penniless.”
The union will present a submission on low pay to the Greater London Authority (GLA) as part of the campaign.
Unite argues that without its hotel, restaurant, hospitality and catering members “London would not be enjoying the record numbers of return visitors it is currently enjoying”.
Turnbull added: “We believe the ‘living wage’ would have a positive impact on the problems of high staff turnover and skill shortages that plague the sector.”
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